Modern Indian Food Review: Flying Monkey at 7 Bussorah St, Singapore 199480

So I was invited to Flying Monkey for tasting recently and I went without much pre-conception about the place - knowing only that it's modern Indian cuisine with a cocktail bar. Boy I was right about that but Flying Monkey was so much more! It surpassed all my (almost zero) expectations with flying (heh) colours. They are the only full-fledged cocktail bar in the Bussorah St area and also the only one serving contemporary pan-Indian food, tapas style. I was so blown away by the experience the first time round, I gathered up my colleagues to return for a second time within two weeks. And everyone loved it.

I had some 'holi festival' colours dabbed on my face as part of a fun thing to do when I first went for tasting there. We were also given spray guns which we did not use (luckily!).

Here's the menu - as you can see, they are traditional dishes couched in unexpected twists such as adding truffle to naan. I get excited when I see dishes that looks familiar but has been re-invented moderately. One page for small plates and another for big plates with the last for dessert and cocktails/drinks.

We started with some Tandoori Chicken (S$10), which was juicy and marinated just right with the tandoori powder to a grilled perfection. 3.5/5 I forgot to take photos of the Calamari 65 (S$10) which I learnt that the 65 refers to an Indian seasoning normally for chicken, instead of +65 our country code which makes more sense :P very addictive, that calamari. 4/5

Then the Truffle Naan (S$14) had to make its appearance, with gentle wafts of the truffle which did not overpower but alleviated the basic fluffy naan to nAAAn. The cottage cheese dip with the jammy sweet chutney made this dish more of a dessert than savoury appetiser. 4.5/5

Then another favourite of the night (so good I ordered it again next time) - the Tulsi Cod (S$15), which is cod fish covered in basil and charred in the tandoor. The cod was so perfect - it wasn't slimy or fishy or undercooked, yet fell off in soft gentle pieces as you cut into them. The seasoning on it was an herby, green savouriness. 4.5/5

Next, something which none of us could finish - the very strong Galouti Kebab (S$14) which was made with finely minced mutton, such that it is less traditional kebab than paté. According to Wikipedia, "Legend has it that the galawati kebab was created for an aging Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow who lost his teeth, but not his passion for meat dishes. Galawati means "melt in your mouth" and was perfect for the toothless Nawab who continued savouring this until his last days." It's chock full of spices, but the mutton flavour is too strong for me. Only for the brave! 2/5

On my second visit we also tried some Kurkuri Bhindi (S$8), which are thinly sliced fried okras with spiced gram powder that tasted surprisingly good. Because I normally dislike okras, lady's fingers and the sort for their slippery texture, these were like crisps. 3.5/5 

Then, the fiery Chilli Poppers (S$10) which are Rajasthani style stuffed with potato masala. I would not recommend this unless you want to set your mouth on fire and not be able to taste anything for a while... but they are nicely battered though. Some people who can take the spice will like it! 1/5

We also tried the Malai Kebab (S$12), which is lightly spiced creamy chicken charred in the tandoor. This is more of what I'll say my idea of a kebab, even if the pink sauce looks really suspect. Unfortunately, I found this dish to be lacking in flavour compared to the rest, even if it is quite juicy and tender. 3/5

Then we are on to the mains. First up a very lovely Quail Musallam (S$26) which saw quail slow cooked and served with some kasmiri pulao, which to me seems like nutty fragrant long-grain rice. If only the quail didn't contain so many bones. I enjoyed the rice more than the protein and wish there's the option to just order that with some butter chicken. 2.5/5

Then the interesting Nalli Gosht (S$26) which is lamb shank cooked overnight served with garlic naan. I like how the bone is left standing upright in a bowl of gravy. Personally though I don't enjoy lamb that much even if its been cooked for long. This dish was so-so for me. 3/5

The main I would go for will be the Butter chicken (S$18), which is chicken tikka in a creamy tomato sauce served with naan. The sauce was a little on the sweet side, but not unbearable. It still had the creaminess. Chunks of chicken could be found in there, but will require some fishing. The naan and butter chicken combo was unbeatable. 4/5

And finally, dessert! The Jalebi (S$10) is apparently a very traditional Indian dessert of sweet sweet pretzel. I found myself continuing to chomp on them even though they are so sweet because there's a hint of a citrus aftertaste. It was weird! If you are not drinking any cocktails, have a sweet dessert like the Jalebi. 3/5

But if you are having cocktails, then get it from Bartender The Beard, as he is called. The cocktails are all infused with Indian flavours/alcohol to give them a good twist around. I loved the demonstration too, especially of the Flaming Monkey.

The Goa Mamma Lassi (S$18) apparently has super a lot of alcohol but you won't be able to taste it because of the sweet, milky lassi. This is definitely the crowd favourite and I can see why!

The mojito gets a facelift with a bunch of fragrant jasmine in a drink call Mind It! (S$18) made with Monkey 47 Gin. 

Phew, what an extensive review. Need I say anymore before you head down and try the Flying Monkey for yourself? I'll advise for booking during weekends for the place can get really packed! 

Flying Monkey
7 Bussorah St, Singapore 199480
+65 62910695 or to reserve
Tues-Sun 12–2:30PM, 5:30–11PM
Closed on Mondays

Thanks to the Flying Monkey for the invite!

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